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Thursday, August 26, 2021

The name Muntadhar al-Zeidi probably won’t go down in history. But, improbably, the former Iraqi journalist’s George W. Bush-seeking missile of a shoe might:

Throwing shoes at the mighty has become a global phenomenon that shows no sign of fading away.

Since that infamous Baghdad press conference on Dec. 14, 2008, shoes have flown at the prime ministers of China and Turkey, the chief justice of Israel’s Supreme Court, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, a Ukrainian politician who favored joining NATO, and a string of Indian politicians…

Rare are the memes — the bits of viral behavior — that truly take root in the real world. Throwing shoes at world leaders has joined the club. But what makes shoe-throwing more lasting than, say, the Old Spice Guy?

Throwing a shoe is pure slapstick — aggression and humor blended, violence in which no one really gets hurt. It’s stronger than a sign, or shouted slogan, but short of actually harming a leader.

Validity of symbolism aside, I’m thinking that the political-pie-in-the-face crew is feeling ideologically upstaged.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/26/2010 08:49am
Category: Political, Society, True Crime
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